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201430 Mar



Skoda Auto will be presenting twelve milestones of the company’s 119-year history at this year’s Techno Classica in Essen.


The phalanx of the classics ranges from the motorcycles, the first automobile of the Skoda founders, the Skoda legends of the 1930s, 40s and 50s through to the Skoda Forman dating back to 1993. The one thing all the vehicles have in common is the outstanding importance they had for the brand and models in each period.


“Skoda is one of the longest-established vehicle manufacturers in the world. In the history of the company, spanning almost 119 years, there have been a number of vehicles that set the course for the company and the brand. We will be presenting twelve of these milestones at the Techno Classica, including a replica of the first L&K automobile,” explains Michal Velebny, Restoration Workshop Manager at the Skoda Museum.  The Skoda stand is located in Messe Essen’s Hall 7. The presentation will be in association with Skoda Auto Deutschland.


The two Skoda founding fathers Vaclav Laurin and Vaclav Klement (L&K) laid the foundation stone of the Skoda brand’s success at the end of the 19th century with the production of bicycles, and motorbikes from 1899. By presenting three motorized bicycles from the L&K early years, Skoda will be taking Techno Classica visitors on a journey back in time to the roots of the brand. An L&K Motocykleta TB dating back to 1902, an L&K Motocykleta L 80 from 1903, as well as an L&K Motocykleta CCR from 1905 will be on show in Essen.



Skoda Voiturette A


In December 1905, L&K presented the new company’s first car: the so-called Voiturette A (French: little carriage or small car). At the Techno Classica, Skoda will be presenting a faithfully constructed, roadworthy vehicle as would have been seen in 1906. The Voiturette A was a huge hit in its time, not least because of the water-cooled engine and the low price of only 3,600 crowns. Under the bonnet you will find a 7-hp two-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1,100cm3.


In Essen, Skoda will be displaying one of the most successful L&K models ever – the L&K Typ S dating back to 1911. Between 1911 and 1925 more than 2,000 of these vehicles were produced in various versions. The customers particularly appreciated the model’s excellent reliability. The Type S was powered by a 14-hp four-cylinder with 1,771 cm3 displacement.


In June 1925 L&K merged with the Skoda plants in Pilsen, which was already the largest Czech industrial company of that time. The luxury-class model L&K Skoda Type 110 on display at the Techno Classica is a special representative of its time, in that it bears the logos of both companies – both L&K and Skoda.


The Skoda Popular was a revolutionary lightweight and inexpensive vehicle concept released in1934. The Skoda Popular fulfilled the long-awaited dream of owning a car for a broad range of customers. At the same time the Popular founded a new successful Skoda Generation of vehicles with modern a central tube frame (instead of the previously-seem lead frame), OHV engines and sophisticated technology. Over 5,000 of the vehicle were sold between 1934 and 1945. The example on display in Essen is a Skoda 420 Popular Roadster from 1935.




Skoda 440


The Skoda 1200 was a milestone for Skoda in the period after the Second World War in the spring of 1952. One special feature was the initial design based on a metal chassis instead of the usual mixed construction made of wood and sheet metal. Moreover, this notchback sedan was the first Skoda to be tested in the wind tunnel. The no less important Skoda 440 from the museum inventory will also be on show in Essen. The Skoda 440 was the manufacturer’s answer to the growing demand from the Czechs for an inexpensive, populist and modern vehicle. The number 440 stood for four cylinders and power of 40 hp. The vehicle was named Spartak in local slang. The model rolled off the production lines for five years. A total of 75,417 the vehicles were produced.


The Skoda 1000 MB will be celebrating its half century at the Techno Classica. This model was first introduced in spring 1964. A vehicle from 1966 from the Skoda Museum’s collection can be seen at the fair in Essen. As the first Skoda with rear wheel drive, rear engine and a unibody construction, the Skoda 1000 MB marked the beginning of a new Skoda era. The spacious five-door was one of the best vehicles in the one-litre class in its time and set new standards in terms of comfort, performance and technology. The 1000 MB strengthened Skoda’s position in the European automotive industry, and shaped the manufacturer's model strategy for many years. A total of around 443,156 Skoda 1000 MBs were produced between April 1964 and August 1969, more than half of which were exported, even as far as New Zealand and Australia.


Skoda-Rapid-(typ 914)


Skoda Rapid Typ 914


An important representative of the later Skoda vehicles with a rear engine was the Skoda Rapid of the 1980s – a two-door coupé based on the 105/120 series. Skoda will be presenting a Rapid type 135 in Essen. The Rapid was powered by a 1.3 litre petrol engine with 43 hp. The vehicle featured a five-speed gearbox. A characteristic of the type 135 was the newly developed aluminium engine, which was later used in the Skoda Favorit.




Skoda Forman/ Favorit


The dozen Skoda milestones to be presented in Essen is completed by the Skoda Forman dating back to 1993. It will be about the estate version of the model Skoda Favorit, which was first presented in 1987 at the Engineering Fair in Brno. The Favorit first marked the development of a modern compact car concept with front-mounted engine, front drive, versatile interior and a large hatch. A total of around 1,000,000 of these vehicles ran off the production lines, as saloons, estates and pickups.


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